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News | May 17, 2024

DCMA Pacific hosts Japanese leaders to highlight safety, maintenance protocol

By Elizabeth Szoke DCMA Public Affairs

Defense Contract Management Agency International’s Pacific command recently welcomed members of the Japanese House of Representatives at a contractor’s facility, where many agency team members work. DCMA Pacific provided an overview of the V-22 Osprey's safety and maintenance practices to the delegates.  

Itsunori Onodera, Japan’s current chairman of the Security Investigation Committee and former Minister of Defense, led the delegation. Onodera voiced concerns about the safety and operational standards upheld by the Japanese contractor to ensure V-22 aircraft safety. 

Acknowledging the need for clarity around the V-22's operational reliability, the representatives sought insight into the U.S. government's aircraft safety oversight. The contractor explained maintenance procedures strictly adhere to U.S. government guidelines while DCMA’s Navy Cmdr. Thomas Miyano addressed questions on airworthiness certification and safety protocols using information from Naval Air Systems Command publications and technical directives. 

“The question was addressed to me as the most senior U.S. official present,” said Miyano, DCMA Japan commander. “I provided answers using the information from NAVAIR publications and technical documents, to include Type Certification process for and updated technical directives implemented after a recent accident.” 

Miyano said DCMA provides thorough oversight during proper maintenance processes and quality assurance verifications, which are both critical to ensuring airworthiness. The representatives expressed a better understanding and that the visit reinforced their confidence in the V-22 aircraft. 

"The visit was very well received by the members of the Diet who visited it, and I think it was a very good visit for the Defense Equipment Agency,” said Takamasa Iba, director of Japan’s Aircraft Project Management Division with Acquisition, Technology and Logistics Agency.  

DCMA representatives emphasized the Osprey’s maintenance concept aligns with other aircraft, such as the H-60 helicopter series, and that the mishap rate is comparable to other U.S. Marine Corps aircraft.  

DCMA Pacific’s mission is to ensure aircraft are maintained and overhauled by partner nation’s contractors in accordance with airworthiness standards. The team accepted 44 aircraft last year from contractors in both Japan and America, on behalf of both U.S. and Japan armed forces. The team is comprised of experienced aircraft maintainers who directly support warfighters from bases like Carrier Air Wing Five, 1st and 3rd Marine Air Wings, Japan Air Self Defense Force 3rd Air Wing and Japan Ground Self Defense Force 1st Helicopter Brigade.  

“They are very good at what they do,” Miyano said. “(The) mission-ready aircraft we accepted is the critical piece of integrated deterrence in this region. I am very proud of what DCMA Japan does for the two countries, and I am also very proud of being part of DCMA Pacific, which does the same aviation Maintenance, Repair, Overhaul, and Upgrade or Final Assembly and Check-Out business in Korea, Australia, New Zealand, and many other pacific nations.”